Crispy green lettuce, plump bright tomatoes, and fresh aromatic herbs — there’s nothing like having fresh vegetables within easy reach. Growing an organic garden in your backyard brings about multiple benefits – improves health, relieves stress, saves money, and helps the environment. The hard work and commitment of producing your food are worth it when one can see the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor. Keep your garden healthy, disease-free, and productive all year long with these tips.
Schedule regular pest control
Even the most meticulous gardeners can’t keep insect predators away. Hiring a Salt Lake City pest control professional can keep your garden healthy with their knowledge of how to combat plant vulnerabilities to specific predators and diseases. Bug damage opens the plant to viruses and bacteria, stressing them out and serving as the transport to spread sickness from one plant to another.
Use high-quality disease-resistant varieties
Much like the adage, “Prevention is better than a cure,” it is better to avoid bringing diseases from nurseries or tools on the onset. Taking home a plant with rotted stems, moldy leaves, and insects can quickly spread its problems. Disease-resistant plant varieties, on the other hand, are better equipped to fight off afflictions common to their kind. Consider collecting reference books and catalogs to know what a good disease-resistant variety looks like.
Feed your soil
The soil does more than keep your plant’s roots in place. It is a rich medium — full of microorganisms and other insects — that provide nutrition for healthy vegetables. Adding organic matter such as compost, animal manure, and shredded leaves makes the soil fertile through the process of decay and decomposition. You can check out the guide of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on soil composition. Plants without nutrients are smaller and susceptible to diseases
Be mindful of how you water
Watering plants might seem like a no-brainer. You get a hose or fill a gardening can and sprinkle water over the vegetables. However, many diseases like fungi thrive in waterlogged soil and pots, which can suffocate root growth. Consider using drip irrigation or a soaker hose as watering methods to limit moisture on the plant’s foliage to prevent mold and moss.
Growing the same vegetables in one space can deplete the soil’s nutrients and encourage insects to lurk in the soil after the crops are harvested. Crop rotation within the garden is used to reduce damage from pests, limit the development of diseases, and manage soil fertility. Consider rotating crops based on the types of vegetables you grow. Vegetables from the same plant family should not be planted in the same area more than once every three to four years. Consider keeping a garden map as a reminder.
Paying close attention to the growth of your plants through recording best practices and failures in a notebook can give insight on how to improve every year. You can compare which vegetable varieties work better with your soil composition, watering method, and a mixture of organic matter. The discipline of observation and record-keeping will reward you with healthier and productive gardens.
Growing your food gives a certain kind of joy and satisfaction of being self-sufficient. Untreated, fresh, and nutrient-rich vegetables are available for the picking as you please.